Monday Mornings with Madison

11 Things Salespeople Should Do but Often Don’t

Word Count:  1,791

Estimated Read Time:  7  min.

Ask any salesperson and they will tell you that selling is hard work.  In fact, anyone who has ever had a job in sales will likely admit that it’s the hardest work they’ve ever done.  If a salesperson gets a yes immediately, they haven’t really sold anything as much as taken an order.  Selling starts the moment a prospect says no.   Selling is what happens when a salesperson turns a No into a Yes.   And yet, most salespeople make common mistakes throughout the sales process that keep them from making a sale. Continue reading

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Staying Top-of-Mind… For Better or Worse?

Word Count:  2,114 

Estimated Read Time:  8 1/2  min.

Part Two:  For Worse

It is difficult to live life completely unaffected by what other people think or say.   Like pollen, the attitudes and opinions of people blow into the lives of others, shaping their perspectives and influencing their decisions.  This is especially true in the age of technology, with digital winds blowing every bit of information farther and faster than ever before.  When those opinions and messages are positive, it can be a valuable thing.  In business, arguably nothing is more valuable to a salesperson, exec or company than for a customer to share a positive review with others.  Customer and vendor recommendations are like gold.  They yield a harvest of opportunity and good will over time.  But what happens when the opinions and attitudes are negative?  What happens when people are talking but what they are saying is not good? Continue reading

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Staying Top-of-Mind… For Better or Worse?

Word Count:  1,432 

Estimated Read Time:  6  min.

Part One:  For Better

There’s a saying that goes: “Talk good about me; talk bad about me; just as long as you’re talking about me!” It is also kiddingly said that the only thing worse than death is to be forgotten.  This may seem extreme, but it is emblematic of the pressing need to be known and remembered; an epidemic that has spread to all industries. Overwhelmed by constant digital noise, companies and business people struggle to be remembered and stay connected with contacts. It’s referred to as “staying top-of-mind.”
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The Video Revolution – Part 4

Word Count:  1,856 

Estimated Read Time:  7 ½  min.

The Video Revolution – Part 4

Using Video for Marketing

In a world where reading has become increasingly passé, video is emerging as the go-to tool for businesses to deliver information quickly and easily. Videos give customers information about a product or service without overwhelming them with text. In thirty or sixty seconds, a prospect can learn a lot about a business through a short, impactful video. If a picture paints a thousand words, then a video paints a million. Continue reading

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The Video Revolution – Part 3

Word Count:  1,187 

Estimated Read Time:  4 ½  min.

The Video Revolution – Part 3

Using Video for Sales

When we think of the work that salespeople do, we generally think of one-on-one selling.   For anything that is not a commodity, a salesperson will speak face-to-face to another person and “pitch” a product or service.  The ‘traveling salesman’ is the quintessential image of sales.  But, obviously, that kind of selling is limiting.   It is limited by how much time and how much distance a salesperson can cover.  Even in dense cities like New York, Chicago, or San Francisco, a salesperson can only make so many sales calls in one day.  And in cities or metropolitan areas that are more diffused, such as Los Angeles, Atlanta, Triangle Park or Miami, traveling from place to place for sales meetings can consume huge swaths of each day. Continue reading

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The Video Revolution – Part 2

Word Count:  1,711 

Estimated Read Time:  7  min.

Using Video for Training

Two of the biggest challenges that regional and national companies face are training new hires and then keeping all staff up-to-date on company changes such as new software programs, updated policies, and evolving procedures.  Just getting corporate office staff trained and keeping them current is enough of a challenge.  Training takes time and consumes resources.  A lot of information is thrust at employees at one time.  Meanwhile, productivity drops or stops during training.   Customer service suffers and employees are tasked with keeping up with the workload while making time for training.  If doing that for corporate staff is hard, then training regional or national employees is even more difficult, especially when some or all of those employees are working remotely from small regional offices, executive offices or home offices.  This is particularly difficult in the U.S. due to the country’s vast geographical size.  Bringing a cadre of regional or national staff together to one location for training incurs a lot of hard costs and generates a lot of down time not just for training but also for travel. Continue reading

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The Video Revolution – Part 1

Word Count:  1,347

Estimated Read Time:  5 ½  min.

Using Video to Recruit and Hire

The video revolution has been six decades in the making.  The first video cameras to capture color images were used only in television studios in the late 1950s.  They were huge, clunky and connected by wires. In 1982, Sony successfully released the first Betamax camera for news outlets, but this also ushered in the age of portable video camcorders anyone could use.  These recorders used uncompressed tape, which limited how much video could be recorded on one tape.  In 1986, Sony created the first all-digital video camera but the format was still uncompressed.  In 1993, Ampex developed the first compressed digital video camera, allowing hours of video recording on one tape for the first time.  That was less than 25 years ago.  Compressed digital video opened a floodgate of video products and innovations.  Thanks to those innovations, video has become an increasingly useful tool. Continue reading

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The iGen and the Alpha Generations

Word Count:  1,309 

Estimated Read Time:  5  min.

The first rule of sales is “Know Thy Audience.”  Anyone who deals with sales and marketing probably knows at least a little about the various generations living today.   For business purposes, there are currently six generations or audiences today.   The frugal Silent Generation, born from 1929 to 1945 and now in their 70s and 80s, grew up during the Great Depression and World War II.   The free-spirited Baby Boomers (born from 1946 to 1964), who grew up during the Civil Rights movement and the Cold War, are now beginning to retire and are redefining what that means.  The GenXers or Boomlets (born 1965 to 1981) were the latch key kids who grew up during the race to Space and the Vietnam War.  Theirs was the first generation to transition from an analog to a digital world.  Generation Y — the now much discussed Millennials (born between 1982 and 1999) — were the first generation to grow up as technology natives and watched terrorism become a global threat.   As the currently biggest generation living (80 million in the U.S. alone), they only want to do meaningful work, aren’t interested in office politics, the status quo or paying their dues.  But there are two more generations emerging.  Meet the iGens and the Alphas. Continue reading

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The Many Facets of Leadership – Part 3

Word Count:  1468 

Estimated Read Time:  6  min.

Mistaking Confidence for Competence

Hiring managers often claim to prefer employees with the right character traits and organizational fit over those with the right education, training, skills and experience.  They want people with a positive attitude, drive and passion.  But what they are really looking for are people who exude confidence.  Finding a highly confident employee is viewed like striking gold!  Why?  Confident people are seen as being self-assured, reliable, assertive, positive, dependable and steady.  Confident people also tend to be charismatic, extroverted, and have strong social skills.  In most cultures, these are highly desirable qualities.  Also, in practically every culture — but especially in the technologically-advanced, developed world – confidence is equated with competence.  We automatically assume that confident people are able, skilled and talented. Continue reading

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The Many Facets of Leadership

Word Count:  1034 

Estimated Read Time:  4  min.

Part 2 – Managing

Imagine that a company or business is like a boat and the boat has a destination… the port of profitability and growth.  On the left side of the boat are the Marketing oars.  On the right side of the boat are its Sales oars.  If only the left oars are rowing, the boat will go around in circles, clockwise.  And if only the right oars are rowing, the boat will go in counter-clockwise circles.  Even if both sets of oars are rowing, but not in tandem, the boat will not move in the intended direction very swiftly.  But if both sets of oars row in tandem, the boat will move forward.  If guided by someone who knows the destination, it will move toward that spot.  And the faster and more efficiently they row in tandem, the more swiftly it will get to its destination.  The process of getting all the oars to row in tandem, efficiently and effectively, to a particular designation is management.  Getting there faster than the competition is good management.  And leadership is the wind in the sails of the vessel, which can help propel it even farther and faster.  If the leadership is strong and steady, the work of the sales and marketing teams is made easier, and everything glides forward quickly. Continue reading

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